A local nonprofit organization has received a grant to help fight childhood obesity.
The North Louisiana Community Enhancement Corporation for the Bastrop Community Walking Trail/Childhood Obesity Prevention Project was recently award a $1,000 grant from the UnitedHealth HEROES to fund the development of a community walking trail, for walking, running and riding for young children on tricycles, teens on bikes and seniors on motorized scooters. The project will be coordinated by a group of 50 youths ages 6 – 18 and will benefit an additional 1200 students and adults.

The HEROS grants are community-focused and service learning grants given to local programs to encourage children to step into service. It is a wellness initiative developed by UnitedHealthcare and YSA (Youth Service America) designed to encourage young people, working with educators and youth leaders, to create and implement walking, running or hiking programs aimed at helping fight childhood obesity.

UnitedHealth HEROES grants are available to schools and youth-focused, community-based programs across the country. UnitedHealth HEROES projects began on Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service (Jan. 21, 2013) and end on Global Youth Service Day (April 26-28, 2013).

A complete list of grant winners and their projects is available online at www.ysa.org/HEROES.

“Once again this year we were amazed by the creative ideas young people came up with to help fight obesity and encourage healthier lifestyles,” said Kate Rubin, vice president of social responsibility, UnitedHealth Group. “By planning, and then participating in the UnitedHealth HEROES program, these youth are working to ‘Step into Service,’ and give back to their communities, as they positively impact the lives of everyone around them.”

“UnitedHealth HEROES asks the young people of Louisiana to step up to address an issue that directly affects them. The program is changing the way communities across the country think about the role of young people,” said Steven A. Culbertson, president and CEO of YSA. “Kids can be leaders, and through UnitedHealth HEROES, they are teaching other kids—and grown-ups too—about the value of healthy lifestyles.”